Rik[a][b] Watson


4 Kingsbridge Copse, Newnham, Hook, Hampshire, RG27 9AP


+44 7900 658883 / rik.watson@gmail.com


Job Target                                                         Head of Software Engineering



As a leader in the Software and DevOps fields, Rik has worked to create synergy across business teams whilst creating solutions to suit evolving and diverse technologies. His experience includes roles such as Head of Software Engineering at Kubrick Group, Product Director at TAAP Limited and DevOps / SRE / Technical Team Lead at ASOS. In these positions, he has harnessed his technical expertise with commercial acumen to deliver revolutionary solutions for stakeholders across various organisations, such as the replatforming of legacy product suites and the specification, implementation and monitoring of mobile DevOps CI pipelines (iOS/Android). He brought his experience in managing teams of junior engineers to the Kubrick Training Lab, where he now mentors the next generation of cloud professionals.

Rik is continually excited by the wealth of opportunity in computing innovation which cloud technology and more recently Generative AI have created; in the past, creating an API, application or service required extensive physical infrastructure, loading a stack, and building a dev/test/production environment, which could take weeks before development could even begin. As Head of Software Engineering, Rik delivers mentoring, solutions and training which provide capabilities that previously were simply not possible.

Cloud computing is so much more than other people's computers. With the advent of cloud, a simple, reproducible environment is a single click away.

Rik Watson, Head of Software Engineering




Key Skills




September 2021 – Present    [c]                                                                             Kubrick Group

Head of Software Engineering[d]

During my tenure at Kubrick Group, I was instrumental in expediting the process of replatforming and redesigning our training content and delivery platform. We transitioned to Amazon Web Services (AWS), a move that produced considerable cost efficiencies and boosted resilience. This transition involved shifting our database technology from PostgreSQL to MongoDB, and relying on static S3 data for backend operations. On the frontend, we evolved from a dynamic vue.js architecture to a statically-hosted React solution, further enhancing our platform's efficiency and reliability.

In my role, I spearheaded the introduction of Software Engineering best practices into our comprehensive training programs for Data Engineers, Data Scientists, and Machine Learning Engineers. This encompassed the design of the curriculum, the development of training materials, and mentoring colleagues on effective delivery methods. My instruction incorporated essential practices such as using Git for version control, Docker for containerization, Kubernetes for orchestration, as well as advanced Python programming, with a focus on Test-Driven Development (TTD), SOLID Principles, and the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) principle, among other key skills.

April 2019 – September 2021                                                                                 ASOS

DevOps / SRE / Technical Team Lead

Rejoining ASOS I lead a team of DevOps engineers who were tightly integrated into the Commerce Digital Tech (CDT) area. CDT covers numerous Azure hosted microservice based platforms including Bag, Checkout, Pricing, Sizing, Discounts and Vouchers. Each platform had evolved organically and had a diverse range of technologies. Our DevOps team were goaled with creating a synergy within these teams to allow for easier InnerSource and cross team pollination.

Other responsibilities included:

Member of the ASOS Engineering Initiatives cross platform team. This team undertook several company wide initiatives including:


February 2017 - March 2019                                                                             TAAP Limited

Product Director

This hands-on role, providing technical leadership and mentoring to a small team of software engineers, resulted in the re-platforming of a 10 year old legacy product suite to encompass new and future technologies.

The original product was a Windows Phone / Windows 8 application with a Azure IAAS backend. This was successfully migrated to a React Native (iOS / Android) front end application with a Azure PAAS backend. This replatforming role encompassed the implementation of a full ALM / TFS (& then Github) CI / CD pipeline.

The final solution allowed third party customers to use a TAAP provided portal to provision their own Azure PAAS backend implemented (Initially via ARM templates, then Terraform).

Other significant projects included:

December 2014 – February 2017                                                                                 ASOS

DevOps / Technical Team Lead

At ASOS I was responsible for the specification, implementation & monitoring of their mobile DevOps mobile CI pipeline (iOS / Android). This was a multi-discipline role which involved liaising with multiple product owners but internal and external to ASOS.

Whilst at ASOS I also held the role of senior DevOps Engineer with significant overview for their multi-million pound digital transformation program. This transformation led to the migration of their CI/CD pipeline from a bespoke Chef / DSC solution to TeamCity / Octopus Deploy.

Some of the technologies used at ASOS included:

In parallel with my employment at TAAP, Rik has developed a number of iOS applications for third parties utilising Swift, Objective-C, C# (Via Xamarin / Mono) and HTML5 / React.JS.


Also developed cross platform (Via Xamarin) .Net SOAP based UPnP media server for Linn Products.


Key technical reviewer for a number of Pearson Education iOS programming books, Including new volumes on Swift and iOS programming.

February 2010 – December 2014                                                                         Hewlett Packard

Scrum Master / Technical Team Lead


As an Agile Scrum Master I facilitated “sprint” cycles for highly cohesive development teams.



Working as part of a team to develop software for an Advance Mission Planning Aid system.


Technical Team Lead to Common TAF team consisting of PM, Project Technical Lead (Governance) PLT, Team Leader (self) and 6 developers. Provided technical support and leadership for managing all aspects of iteration development cycles, coordinating delivery of solutions to meet project milestones.


Working closely with stakeholders, PM & PTL on planning and delivery of releases. Providing technical assessments on requirements, 3-point estimation and resourcing needs to meet delivery milestones. Responsible for technical reviews and milestones from initial requirements, system specification, design, coding and development testing to System test plans and procedures, installation documentation, Quality, safety and airworthiness reviews to release gate reviews for test readiness formal release.


Providing customer support and delivery of technical solutions on complex issues. If needed provide technical customer site support. Engage with the technical community to refine and improve the development process for delivering solutions of high quality standards. Utilising Enterprise Architecture (EA), Rational Rose as design modelling tools. Deploying Coverity and Bullseye to improve code quality and coverage. Introducing automated unit and Integration testing tool-sets such as Google Mock / Google Test.


Mar 2009 – February 2010                                                                               Lockheed Martin

Senior Software Engineer


NATS: Air Traffic Control Systems:

Co-lead a technical team to successfully reverse engineer and modify 250,000 lines of code. This substantial code change was necessary to demonstrate the feasibility of changing the primary air traffic interface into the UK air space.

This interface change involved major changes throughout the system, which were written in a combination of Ada, C & C++ running on a network of IBM AIX (Unix) systems.

Rik has established the use of local change management systems based on Subversion.

Additionally Rik also headed up the Local Configuration Management (LCM) team and liaised with three external parties to create an overall CM policy.

The project pioneered the use of Scrum techniques within Lockheed Martin UK.

Rik provides technical leadership and mentoring in Ada Python, C, C++ and general software design to more junior members of the team.

Contract Employment

Rik has over 15 years continuous contracting experience for a single client (Hewlett Packard). During this time, Rik undertook a variety of roles showing that he is quickly able to adapt and learn new skills. These roles ranged from Software Engineering using Ada, C, C++, C#, Objective-C, Service Design & Support, Technical Project Lead, Team Leadership and Solution Design / Architecture.



Oct 2008 – Mar 2009                                                                                Omega Point Limited

Freelance iPhone Application Development

Designed a number of iPhone applications in Objective-C / HTML5 for 3 clients.


Sept 2007 – Sept 2008                                                                                 Virgin Media

Business Analyst

Rik was a key member of the team where he provided technical skills which enabled the successful migration of 100,000+ customers and £20m+ worth of accounts between disparate business systems and networks within Virgin Media. This was a key technical liaison role between the different stakeholders, business, application and network teams. This required Rik to quickly adapt and learn the various technologies and systems to be able to provide appropriate recommendations.


July 2006 – Aug 2007                                                                                              BT Global

Design Authority

Rik led a team responsible for the successful seamless migration of > 1000 ICM / BT Horizon scripts to an Avaya IP Contact Centre solution.

This role also required Rik to be involved in innovative script design, Disaster Recovery: Planning and Implementation, also static & dynamic scripting


April 2006 – July 2006                                                                                 SkyNet Systems

Deployment Engineer

Responsible for the deployment of a number of Cisco CallManager, Unity and CallManager Express IPT solutions throughout the UK. This involved the physical installation of the Cisco hardware, through to its commissioning and acceptance. The role involved all aspects of CallManger deployment from phone roll out, call plan design to SRST switch configuration for site fallback.


January 2006 – March 2006                                                 Cable & Wireless (Via JamIP)

Support Specialist

Member of the JamIP support team that was seconded into C&W.


The team provided advanced 2nd and 3rd line support to C&W's extensive ICM & IPCC customer base.

Rik was taken into this role for his technical skills and problem solving ability and was made responsible for resolving long-term, non-trivial, support calls which would frequently involve in depth interaction with the Cisco TAC team and the development of analysis tools to prove support solution hypothesis.


1990 – 2005                                                             Hewlett-Packard, Reading

                                                                                    (2001 – 2003 Formerly Compaq)

                                                                                    (1990 – 2001 Formerly Digital Equipment)

Technical Team Leader / Software Engineer / Systems Programmer


Cisco CEM / ICM / IPCC Experience


Key member of the HP team responsible for the design, deployment & support of the BT ‘Cambridge / Horizon’ NIP (Network Intelligent Platform) CPR1 & CPR2 overlay networks.


BT Cambridge CPR2 [NIP / VIP]


CPR2 is a network based non-geographic routing system for the BT Overlay Network. It consisted of a highly resilient 3 site Unix server farm (DEC Unix and DECss7) which could seamlessly provide number translation services based on such criteria as:



Routing was controlled by an online “maptool” and no Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) was necessary.


BT Cambridge CPR1 [Intelligent Call Router]


CPR1 was the first deployment of a Cisco (née GeoTel) ICM NAM system in the UK. The main system consisted of 2 Windows NT server farms. Each customer site / call centre also required the deployment of CPE to either monitor the state of their call centre or allow routing scripts to be written.


As the Support Solution Architect I has overall responsibility for the designed of the overall system monitoring tools and ensured a smooth transition from deployment into joint BT / HP support.


Support Solution Architect / Team Leader - eCRM ICM / IPCC support team. This role involved:


Support Technical Team Leader within HP for the Cisco ICM Product Set.


Other ICM Related Activities


IBOS Inter Bank Online System [Real-Time TP Monitor]


Rik provided system design, consultancy, development team leadership and technical support to the IBOS (Inter-Bank On-Line System) Management Company. IBOS provides a round the clock, real-time, international, inter-bank transaction service. IBOS is implemented in Ada, ‘C++’, 'C' and COBOL layered on top of a number of key products; including Rdb, DECforms, DNS, DECbank and Pathworks. Key areas of responsibility:


·       Designed and implemented the IBOS Message Handler (IMH) server. This server provided the message routing, compression, verification and transformations necessary for such an inter-bank computer link. The IMH TP Monitor was written in Ada and made full use of the languages tasking facilities and robustness in order to provide the availability and message throughput required in such a business critical application.

·       Designed and implemented a messaging bus (IMR) to provide a reliable real-time transport for messages within the IBOS system

·       Designed the Security Server (SSE) for IBOS. A C++ customised encryption device is employed by the SSE to provide RCA and DES key encryption. The server had to communicate with multiple encryption devices whilst ensuring that the RCA and DES keys were never available ``in clear''. Particular care had to be employed in the design of this server due to the security issues involved.

·       Advised on an appropriate architecture for the IBOS DNS namespace.

·       Providing training to the IBOS Management Companies first line support staff.


Other roles at HP:


·       Team leader and technical consultant for the porting of over 250,000 lines of C & C++ code from OpenVMS/VAX to OpenVMS/Alpha.

·       Technical consultant for the porting of the UBS front office development system from OpenVMS to Windows NT.

·       Support Consultant for a UNIX based Video-on-Demand system.

·       Vodafone IN7 Support (OpenVMS)

·       BBC PICS Transmission Scheduling System [C++]

·       CellNet [Now O2] ABSlink

·       Technical feasibility study for the replacement of a nuclear power station's control system.

·       Technical support for an IBM-CICS/VAX communications system used by a Stock Exchange trading application.

·       Team leader, software support and migration planning for a client-server Program-Scheduling system for the BBC (PICS).

·       Writing and supporting various Delphi & Visual Basic front end applications.


1989 – 1990                                                                                     Thorn EMI Electronics Ltd

Systems Programmer


Rik was responsible for the design and implementation of the real-time operational flight control software for a gimbal servo control system.


Rik was also solely responsible for the reconfiguration of the XD Ada runtime system to operate on custom built hardware.


As part of the role Rik also provided VMS internals consultancy


Permanent Employment


1986 - 1989                                                                          SD-Scicon plc. (Camberley)

Systems Programmer


Member of the design and implementation team for the XD Ada and SD-Ada compilers.


Specified, designed and implemented the SD-Ada Command Environment, ACE. This tool provided a consistent VAX Ada like interface into the SD-Ada tool set.


Designed and implemented the XD Ada Formatter tool. In particular wrote a tool to convert from Digital standard debug symbol table information into HP/MRI IEEE-695 object file format.


Modified the SD-Ada Builder system (linker) for use on a fault tolerant multi-processor 68020 based UNIX machine. This also involved Ada consultancy for the Grumman/BSDS project.




Manchester University (1983 - 1986).

Degree: B.SC. Hons (II) in Computers and Information Systems.


5 A-Levels Pure Maths, Applied Maths, Computer Studies, Physics, Electronics

9 O-Levels


References Available On Request


Rik is an extremely able, adaptable, enthusiastic, technical IT professional. He has significant experience encompassing all aspects of the software development lifecycle, working in highly pressurised environments and a track record of delivering results.

He provides technical leadership and mentoring to three teams of software developers for an advanced airborne mission planning project.

His recent roles have been the introduction of DevOps and Agile development techniques, Software Engineering Fundamentals and Scrum.

Over the years, Rik has worked to provide embedded solutions for a wide range of applications in the Telecommunications, Defence, and Commercial sectors.

Given my vast depth and range of technical experience I’m able to adapt to many differing scenarios.



Rik is an extremely able, adaptable, enthusiastic, technical IT professional. He has significant experience encompassing all aspects of the software development lifecycle, working in highly pressurised environments and a track record of delivering results.

He provides technical leadership and mentoring to three teams of software developers for an advanced airborne mission planning project.

His recent roles have been the introduction of DevOps and Agile development techniques, Software Engineering Fundamentals and Scrum.

Over the years, Rik has worked to provide embedded solutions for a wide range of applications in the Telecommunications, Defence, and Commercial sectors.

Given my vast depth and range of technical experience I’m able to adapt to many differing scenarios.

[a]You cannot possibly need 12 pages. Get it down to 2.

[b]I don't care for Bio sections generally, but I would cut this down a lot.

[c]You were rapidly promoted in the first year - you need to show this progression.

[d]You need bullets for this

[e]Parallel structure throughout all bullet points